Tuesday, 25 April 2017

"Rebellion, actively cutting down" - a post from 10th May 2010 on the ATDT parents' forum.

This is a thread from 10th May 2010 which I posted on the Around The Dinner Table Forum (which exists to support parents of young people with eating disorders). I desperately needed advice on how to get my son to eat as he'd arrived at the stage where 'Mum's Eating Plan' was about to be thrown out of the window. We really had done well, food-wise, up to this stage even though it had been really tricky. God only knows what I would have done without the support I found on the ATDT forum. I daren't even guess how things might have panned out... This thread also shows the roller coaster or cat-and-mouse nature of the eating disorder. Just when you think you're seeing progress it all goes t*ts-up again.


So there we were, going along nicely on the higher calorie diet with higher fats and Ben seemed to be adjusting to it well (give or take a few minor arguments). Until today...

... when he's suddenly "not hungry". Refused to eat an egg with his lunch ("too hard boiled"), refused to eat date and walnut cake 'pudding' ("too dry") and refused to eat ice cream as a substitute for the cake ("just not hungry"). When I insisted he ate something and calmly explained the reasons why he needs to (again...), he blew up and shouted "OK if you want me to eat ice cream, then I'll eat the whole f***ing tub", preceded to attempt to do so then promptly threw up over the kitchen floor. (I made him clean it up...)

I don't know if this is just a blip or if he is really genuinely "not hungry" or if it's the eating disorder talking, knowing he's about to be back at school for exams (funny how he started to cut back on food before his other exams 2 weeks ago...). And now I'm stuck with this food he won't eat (cake and ice cream) - but I can't force-feed him...

Help!!!!

And...

How do you feel about forfeits/punishments - of the "You will stick to the eating plan exactly as I put it in front of you or you won't do blah blah blah..." variety?

Just wondering if this works or is a waste of time - and not very caring or compassionate of me, really. But I feel mad when I lose a battle against the eating disorder like I've done today.

The exams are GCSEs so there's no flexibility unfortunately...

Several of you have mentioned high calorie shakes, but I'd love advice on how to get them into my son as he's very vigilant about his shakes - he always makes them so if I were suddenly to present him with a shake, he'd be suspicious... If only...

We're back to the fats phobia which makes it really hard to get sufficient calories into Ben without adding loads of bulk. The moment I introduce something higher in fat (e.g. the date and walnut cake), he refuses to eat it. He was OK with ice cream, etc for a while, but is now rebelling...

And...


My son is the king of switching meals / snacks at the 11th hour although I never let him change the evening meal - and always check he's not 'downsizing' on calories or fats.

Today, when he calmed down, we negotiated a 'rescue plan' to bring the calories back up again - and he walked in here a while ago with a bag of sweets he was munching (although he's had the bag for AGES, he hasn't really eaten any of them. Maybe it's his way of saying sorry for the havoc the eating disorder caused at lunchtime, hey...)

PS That date and walnut cake isn't at all dry, in fact it's delicious and I scoffed it up myself. .

Unfortunately, as ever, having studied those recipes it seems that most have ingredients my son wouldn't entertain in a zillion years. I could introduce them sneakily, but (a) that's not recommended, really, and (b) he would immediately know they were there by taste, texture, etc. For example I couldn't simply hand him a high cal milkshake and say "Drink".

Meanwhile he still refuses to eat stuff, having had 5 very successful days on the higher calorie / fat diet plan given by the dietitian. Now he is refusing to budge and, as you will see from my other thread, the only way he'll agree to eat (some things) is to take back some of the food preparation control himself. I said if he loses weight, then I immediately take back control and I imagine the calories will need to increase to make up for lost weight. I feel helpless and feel there's nothing else I can do without clamping his mouth open and force-feeding him.

Yesterday was his first day back at school since Feb (apart from the 2 art exams) and it was successful. Today we had our most normal school run in MONTHS! No visible anxiety at all and no hesitation getting out of the car at school, even though he was early. And he's already planning camping with the boys this weekend and says he's going to the school prom and party afterwards. This from the boy that couldn't even talk to his friends just a few months ago, let alone entertain the idea of school.

But I know it's all very fragile and could shatter with just one 'wrong' comment or look from a peer... As I always say to myself these days (my new mantra): "It's not over till the fat lady sings"...

(Oh yeah, me being the fat lady, I guess, with all this extra food inside me from all these hi-cal meals )

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